Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Victor Matfield (born 11 May 1977 in Pietersburg (now Polokwane), South Africa) is a South African rugby union player for the Springbokrugby team as well as the Blue Bulls in the Currie Cup and the Bulls franchise in the Super 14. He is one of the best locks in the world[citation needed] and has had a long successful partnership with Springbok and Blue Bulls teammate Bakkies Botha.Besides almost always winning his own line-out ball, Matfield is known for his exceptional skill at disrupting opposition line-outs - this skill was a cornerstone of their 2007 World Cup success, where he was crowned irb player of the rugby world cup - and his speed around the field led former Australian coach Eddie Jones to comment that he should be an Olympic sprinter instead.[citation needed]He also possesses good upper body strength, with the ability to bench press 155kg[1]. In 2008 he became the first international captain to beat the All Blacks in New Zealand since Martin Johnson in 2003.


Growing up Matfield had a love for both rugby and cricket, and even represented Far North Schools in the latter. When an injury affected his batting and bowling he decided to pursue rugby instead and was selected for Far Norths junior Craven Week team before playing lock for Pietersburg High School. He made it to the Craven Week competition for high schools in two successive years before being selected for Far North's senior provincial team while still in his final year of high school. {{Fact|date=June 2007}

Junior rugby career

After school, Matfield went to study at the University of Pretoria where he made the university's under-21 side.[citation needed] It did not take long for him to be selected for the Blue Bulls under-21 side as well.In 1997, Matfield was selected for the under-21 Springbok side captained by Bobby Skinstad. Matfield was also selected for the 1998 squad.

Senior rugby career

A big turning point in Matfield's career came when he decided to leave the Blue Bulls for the Griquas in 1999, where he was also selected to represent the Cats in the Super 12 that year. The move allowed him to prove his worth, and in 2000 he was given the opportunity to represent the Bulls Super 12 team.His hard work did not go unnoticed, and in 2001 he was finally selected for the Springbok squad, making his debut on 30 June 2001 against Italy. Matfield went on to play a major role in the Springboks' renaissance in 2004 and 2005[neutrality disputed]; in the latter year, he made the five-man shortlist for IRB World Player of the Year.Matfield was an instant selection for South Africa's 2007 World Cup winning-squad, and won the Man of the Match award in the final for his brilliant work in the line-out and, in a show of fine all-round skill, he even put in a perfect cross-field touch-finding kick!Matfield had been linked with a move to Leicester Tigers of the English Premiership after the 2007 Rugby World Cup.[2] However, in June 2007, he signed a six-month contract with French second division club Toulon, which he will join on 1 January 2008.[3] At Toulon, he will join an ambitious side whose president Mourad Boudjellai has signed many veteran superstars for the 2007-08 season, such as Australian George Gregan, the sport's all-time leader in international appearances; Andrew Mehrtens, the all-time leading scorer for the All Blacks; and, as coach, former All Blacks captain Tana Umaga.It had recently been revealed that Matfield was considering withdrawing from his contract with Toulon in an attempt to make himself available for a possible offer from The Sharks for the2008 Super 14. Eventually, he and Umaga came to an agreement that Matfield would play for Toulon in a stretch of nine key fixtures in January and February 2008, and then return to South Africa and play for the Bulls in the 2008 Super 14. Toulon are currently making a strong drive for promotion to the Top 14, and are atop the 2007-08 second division table as of 6 March 2008. As for Matfield, his main concern was reported to be that the South African Rugby Union has not yet decided whether to continue with its recent policy of allowing a limited number of overseas-based players to play for the Springboks.

Personal life

Victor married Monja Bekker in 2003. They have one daughter, Jaime born at 8.02am on New Year's Day 2006. Has a unique link to the New Zealand through his Grandmother who was of Maori decent.

Victor Matfield
Victor <span class=Matfield wins a line-out for South Africa" src="" width="250" height="166" border="0" style="border-top-style: none; border-right-style: none; border-bottom-style: none; border-left-style: none; border-width: initial; border-color: initial; vertical-align: middle; ">
Personal information
Full nameVictor Matfield
Date of birth11 May 1977 (age 31)
Place of birthPietersburg, now PolokwaneSouth Africa
Height2.01 m (6 ft 7 in)
Weight110 kg (240 lb)
CollegeUniversity of Pretoria
Occupation(s) Professional rugby union footballer
Rugby union career
Playing career
Provincial/State sides  
Griqualand West
Blue Bulls
Super RugbyCaps(points)
National team(s)Caps(points)
2001-South Africa66(25)

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